Clothing Care for Washable Handmade and Vintage Clothing


Many vintage sewing books have chapters devoted to the hand laundering and pressing of delicate and handmade clothing. Detailed instructions also include how to block wo0len sweaters, pre-shrink wools, and prepare silks for ironing.

Paris Frocks At Home was published by the Butterick Publishing Company in 1930. It, too, includes instructions on how to hand wash lingerie and clothing the seamstress makes. The wonder of it all fills the chapter as the authors praise the lightweight fabrics and simple lines of the fashions of that time. Even laundering was simplified. What we call handwashing or hand laundering is termed “tubbing” in the book. This is just another way to describe washing delicate clothes in a wash basin or separate tub.

Part of the section about ironing follows the one about tubbing. More to come in the next posting.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt. After sharing excerpts on pressing from Paris Frocks At Home, I will detail my own approach to laundering and care of washable vintage and handmade clothing. I am making the information from Paris Frocks at Home available for its historical value and as a way to compare clothing care in 1930 with clothing care in 2023.

Paris Frocks At Home: Tubbing you clothes

To be continued.

Published by EmilyAnn Frances

I was born and raised in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, New York. I attended Hunter College where I graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English Language Arts. After graduation I worked in various industries such as publishing, fashion, financial services, investment banking, and for government. My passion for fashion was nurtured at the French Fashion Academy where I learned dressmaking, patternmaking, sketching and draping. My enjoyment of dressmaking and family history find a wonderful home here at WordPress. I hope you enjoy both of my blogs.